Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. enydia's Avatar

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 414
    #1

    problems associated with subjunctive

    Hi, Teachers.

    I meet some problems associated with subjunctive mood. It would be very nice if you could give me some explanation or advice.

    1
    How to determine the tense of the clause subordinate to a clause that is in subjunctive mood? Take the following sentences for example.
    (1) If I had knew that he would come (OR had come OR came?), I would have told Mary when I met (OR had met?) her.
    (2) I wish I had owned this ability when I was (OR had been) young.
    Is there any rules for choosing the tense or form of the verbs in such clauses?

    2
    What's the meaning of 'were to' in some sentences?
    Take the following sentences for example:
    (3) If I were to have no friends, who would I spend my time with?
    (4) If I were to lose my job next year, I would probably not find a new one quickly.
    (5) If the fire were to have destroyed the building, it would have been a tragic cultural loss.
    In fact, I found (3) ~ (5) from this page: ENGLISH PAGE - Were To
    I really wonder what's the function of 'were to' in these sentences and what's the difference between (3) and the following sentence:
    If I had no friends, who would I spend my time with.

    Thanks in advance. ^_^

    enydia
    Last edited by enydia; 17-Jun-2008 at 15:27.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Tamil
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 619
    #2

    Re: problems associated with subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by enydia View Post
    Hi, Teachers.

    I meet some problems associated with subjunctive mood. It would be very nice if you could give me some explanation or advice.

    1
    How to determine the tense of the clause subordinate to a clause that is in subjunctive mood? Take the following sentences for example.
    (1) If I had knew that he would come (OR had come OR came?), I would have told Mary when I met (OR had met?) her.
    (2) I wish I had owned this ability when I was (OR had been) young.
    Is there any rules for choosing the tense or form of the verbs in such clauses?

    2
    What's the meaning of 'were to' in some sentences?
    Take the following sentences for example:
    (3) If I were to have no friends, who would I spend my time with?
    (4) If I were to lose my job next year, I would probably not find a new one quickly.
    (5) If the fire were to have destroyed the building, it would have been a tragic cultural loss.
    In fact, I found (3) ~ (5) from this page: ENGLISH PAGE - Were To
    I really wonder what's the function of 'were to' in these sentences and what's the difference between (3) and the following sentence:
    If I had no friends, who would I spend my time with.

    Thanks in advance. ^_^

    enydia
    Dear enydia,
    See:Subjunctive mood - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Regards,
    rj1948.

  2. enydia's Avatar

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 414
    #3

    Re: problems associated with subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by rj1948 View Post
    Dear enydia,
    See:Subjunctive mood - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Regards,
    rj1948.
    Hi, rj1948.

    Thank you for your reply.

    Actually, I've read the webpage you show me.

    But I can not find the answer to my question 1.

    As for question 2, it make me even more confused.

    To be honest, I can not get the idea of its statement: 'a future subjunctive can be constructed using the conjugated form of the verb "to be" plus the infinitive or with the usage of the modal auxiliary verb "should". Note that the "were" clauses result in the present conditional, while the "should" clauses result in the future indicative... '

    What's the meaning of 'the verb "to be" plus the infinitive'? Does it means 'to be to do'? And what's the meaning of 'the "were" clauses result in the present conditional, while the "should" clauses result in the future indicative'? ... I really feel that this brief statement, with some professional terms, is beyond my reading and understanding ability.
    Last edited by enydia; 17-Jun-2008 at 16:41.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Tamil
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 619
    #4

    Re: problems associated with subjunctive


    The terms present subjunctive and past subjunctive can be misleading, than meanings: the past and present subjunctives are so called because they resemble the past and present indicatives, respectively, but the difference between them is a modal one, not a temporal one.
    For example, in "I asked that it be done yesterday," be done (a present subjunctive) has no present-tense sense; and likewise, in "If that were true, I'd know it," were (a past subjunctive) has no past-tense sense.
    Dear enydia,I have lifted from the passage-Past and present subjunctives.Try to understand these two types first.
    Regards,
    rj1948.
    Last edited by rj1948; 17-Jun-2008 at 16:55.


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 484
    #5

    Re: problems associated with subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by enydia View Post
    Hi, Teachers.

    I meet some problems associated with subjunctive mood. It would be very nice if you could give me some explanation or advice.

    1
    How to determine the tense of the clause subordinate to a clause that is in subjunctive mood? Take the following sentences for example.
    (1) If I had knew that he would come (OR had come OR came?), I would have told Mary when I met (OR had met?) her.
    (2) I wish I had owned this ability when I was (OR had been) young.
    Is there any rules for choosing the tense or form of the verbs in such clauses?

    2
    What's the meaning of 'were to' in some sentences?
    Take the following sentences for example:
    (3) If I were to have no friends, who would I spend my time with?
    (4) If I were to lose my job next year, I would probably not find a new one quickly.
    (5) If the fire were to have destroyed the building, it would have been a tragic cultural loss.
    In fact, I found (3) ~ (5) from this page: ENGLISH PAGE - Were To
    I really wonder what's the function of 'were to' in these sentences and what's the difference between (3) and the following sentence:
    If I had no friends, who would I spend my time with.

    Thanks in advance. ^_^

    enydia
    1
    How to determine the tense of the clause subordinate to a clause that is in subjunctive mood? Take the following sentences for example.
    (1) If I had knew that he would come (OR had come OR came?), I would have told Mary when I met (OR had met?) her.
    If I had known that he would come (= that he was going to come), I would have told Mary when I met her OR
    If I had known that he had come (= that he had already come), I would have told Mary when I met her.

    (2) I wish I had owned this ability when I was (OR had been) young.
    I wish I had had this ability when I was young.
    Is there any rules for choosing the tense or form of the verbs in such clauses?
    There is no reason to use the past perfect (*when I had met her / *when I had been young) in your subordinate clause. Don’t forget, you are talking about the past (not something that happened before something else in the past.) In (2) for example, maybe you are confusing the subjunctive use of the past perfect with the indicative use. In other words, it’s not because you use the past perfect form (had had) to talk about a hypothetical situation in the past that you have to use the same form for a real situation in the past that is spoken about in the subordinate clause (“when I was young” is not hypothetical so there’s no reason why you should use the subjunctive).
    If this isn’t clear, let me know and I’ll try to say it differently.

    +++
    2
    What's the meaning of 'were to' in some sentences?
    Take the following sentences for example:
    (3) If I were to have no friends, who would I spend my time with? If I didn’t have any friends….
    (4) If I were to lose my job next year, I would probably not find a new one quickly. If I lost my job next year….
    (5) If the fire were to have destroyed the building, it would have been a tragic cultural loss. If the fire had destroyed the building…
    In fact, I found (3) ~ (5) from this page: ENGLISH PAGE - Were To
    I really wonder what's the function of 'were to' in these sentences and what's the difference between (3) and the following sentence:
    If I had no friends, who would I spend my time with. (same thing.)
    We usually use “were to” to talk about some future hypothetical situation (although, as in (3) it can sometimes be used to talk about the present.)
    It’s true we can use the past form of the verb to talk about a hypothetical situtation in the future (for example, “If I won the lottery, I’d travel round the world”) but sometimes the choice of this form to talk about the future can mean something a bit different: consider the following examples (found on the Web):-
    1) If I were to have children, I would raise them in this country.
    2) If I had children, I would raise…
    Number (1) corresponds to a hypothetical future situation (“If, some time in the future, I had children, I would raise… .)
    Number (2) means “I don’t have any children but if I did I would raise…. .”). It refers to a present situation.

    Actually I don’t agree with the explanations given in the website you quote from. For example, there is nothing ‘unthinkably horrible’ about having children [in (1) and (2) above.] It all depends on what you are saying, not on what grammatical structure you have chosen to use.
    Let me know if you haven’t understood anything.

  3. enydia's Avatar

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 414
    #6

    Re: problems associated with subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by naomimalan View Post
    1
    How to determine the tense of the clause subordinate to a clause that is in subjunctive mood? Take the following sentences for example.
    (1) If I had knew that he would come (OR had come OR came?), I would have told Mary when I met (OR had met?) her.
    If I had known that he would come (= that he was going to come), I would have told Mary when I met her OR
    If I had known that he had come (= that he had already come), I would have told Mary when I met her.

    (2) I wish I had owned this ability when I was (OR had been) young.
    I wish I had had this ability when I was young.
    Is there any rules for choosing the tense or form of the verbs in such clauses?
    There is no reason to use the past perfect (*when I had met her / *when I had been young) in your subordinate clause. Don’t forget, you are talking about the past (not something that happened before something else in the past.) In (2) for example, maybe you are confusing the subjunctive use of the past perfect with the indicative use. In other words, it’s not because you use the past perfect form (had had) to talk about a hypothetical situation in the past that you have to use the same form for a real situation in the past that is spoken about in the subordinate clause (“when I was young” is not hypothetical so there’s no reason why you should use the subjunctive).
    If this isn’t clear, let me know and I’ll try to say it differently.

    +++
    2
    What's the meaning of 'were to' in some sentences?
    Take the following sentences for example:
    (3) If I were to have no friends, who would I spend my time with? If I didn’t have any friends….
    (4) If I were to lose my job next year, I would probably not find a new one quickly. If I lost my job next year….
    (5) If the fire were to have destroyed the building, it would have been a tragic cultural loss. If the fire had destroyed the building…
    In fact, I found (3) ~ (5) from this page: ENGLISH PAGE - Were To
    I really wonder what's the function of 'were to' in these sentences and what's the difference between (3) and the following sentence:
    If I had no friends, who would I spend my time with. (same thing.)
    We usually use “were to” to talk about some future hypothetical situation (although, as in (3) it can sometimes be used to talk about the present.)
    It’s true we can use the past form of the verb to talk about a hypothetical situtation in the future (for example, “If I won the lottery, I’d travel round the world”) but sometimes the choice of this form to talk about the future can mean something a bit different: consider the following examples (found on the Web):-
    1) If I were to have children, I would raise them in this country.
    2) If I had children, I would raise…
    Number (1) corresponds to a hypothetical future situation (“If, some time in the future, I had children, I would raise… .)
    Number (2) means “I don’t have any children but if I did I would raise…. .”). It refers to a present situation.

    Actually I don’t agree with the explanations given in the website you quote from. For example, there is nothing ‘unthinkably horrible’ about having children [in (1) and (2) above.] It all depends on what you are saying, not on what grammatical structure you have chosen to use.
    Let me know if you haven’t understood anything.
    Thanks a bunch!

    As to tenses in the subordinate clauses, if I haven't misunderstood too much, the point is that I should talk about the real situation in the indicative mood and the hypothetical situation in the subjunctive mood in any clause, whether or not its main clause is in the subjunctive mood. Is that right?

    With regard to 'were to', I think it's very clear.

    Thank you again for your explanation and kindness.

    \(^o^)/
    Last edited by enydia; 22-Sep-2008 at 03:26.


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 484
    #7

    Re: problems associated with subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by enydia View Post
    As to tenses in the subordinate clauses, if I haven't misunderstood too much, the point is that I should talk about the real situation in the indicative mood and the hypothetical situation in the subjunctive mood in any clause, whether or not its main clause is in the subjunctive mood. Is that right? Yes, that's right, except that the "if" clause with the subjunctive is in fact a subordinate clause itself. But I can see you've understood.
    Quote Originally Posted by enydia View Post

    With regard to 'were to', I think it's very clear.Great.

    Thank you again for your explanation and kindness. My pleasure. Take care.
    Having problems posting this. Hope it gets through this time.

Similar Threads

  1. Problems with present subjunctive in third person
    By Bushwhacker in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-Apr-2008, 03:21
  2. Past Subjunctive
    By emuntalee in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 07-Mar-2008, 03:09
  3. Pronunciation problems
    By annem in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 01-Jan-2007, 18:21
  4. bug problems?
    By bosun in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 24-Nov-2006, 12:03

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •